Discretionary suicide is a different matter. These are people for whom death is the easy way out. In many cases there were good alternatives, but they chose to die either to avoid facing consequences of their own making, or to take revenge on someone who loved them. Most relatives and friends of the suicide view it as a senseless act. It affects these survivors so deeply that it can literally derail the emotional, physical and often the financial stability of everyone concerned. It leaves bitterness, depression and a sense of guilt in its wake. The people left behind may wonder for years if they did anything that might have sparked this action on the part of their loved one. Some may wonder if there was something they might have done to prevent it. It also cuts short a life which, if he or she had thought about the consequences, might have ended as a triumph rather than as a failure.
From a spiritual point of view, discretionary suicide is never good and always results in a disappointing outcome for the suicide’s spirit. However, the literature is not unanimous about how disappointing that outcome is. Some modern mediums that channel dead relatives for grieving clients say that the spirits of suicides pass much like other spirits, finding themselves with relatives and friends after their suicide. They say that the only penalty seems to be a sense of guilt about the damage they have done to their grieving relations still alive on earth. They simply have to “work through” their problems, acknowledge their mistakes, and with the help of their spiritual friends they can eventually continue as if nothing out of the ordinary has happened.
But other sources have a very different take on discretionary suicides. They say that most will find themselves alone when they awaken on the transitional plane. They may spend the rest of what would have been their natural lives as an earthbound spirit stuck on the transitional plane in a state of confused regret over their act and the effect it had on the people he or she left behind. Some may remain earthbound permanently if they believe that they will be punished by God if they cross into the mainstream spiritual world.
In a personal anecdote, a friend of mine committed suicide a long time ago. W___ had been a volunteer fireman and an electrical engineer, well respected by his friends and colleagues. He was a good man and I considered him to be a good friend. However, he had been involved with some fraud in the awarding of a contract and the firm he worked for lost quite a bit of money as a result. When it was discovered that he was responsible, he faced losing his job and also possible criminal charges. One day, he covered his head with a plastic bag containing a cloth saturated with ether. His suicide devastated everyone.
A year or so later, several of us were playing around with a Ouija board (this was long before I discovered how dangerous Ouija boards can be). The group included me, my wife, W___’s widow and her friend. The mood was cheerful and it was broad daylight in the room. No one expected much, and everyone treated the whole thing like a game. Suddenly, while W___’s widow and her friend were controlling the planchette, W___ came through. The mood in the room abruptly turned somber. It was plain he was very upset with himself. He spelled out “NEVER KILL SELF” a number of times and begged forgiveness from his widow. At the time his widow was very angry with him and tearfully refused his plea. I could hardly blame her because his behavior had become erratic and abusive shortly before he killed himself. When W___ was finally persuaded that his former wife would not listen to him, he abruptly stopped communicating, as though he had given up in despair.
I was not at that time involved in studying spiritual matters, and my take-away lesson from the experience was that suicides do not find themselves in good spiritual circumstances after their death.
Other sources, especially the older channeled literature are not sanguine about the fate of suicides. A passage from Carl Wickland’s book, Thirty Years among the Dead (written in 1924) tells of a woman who committed suicide for reasons that she herself did not fully understand. In her case it was because of a spiritual infection (spirit obsession):
“The fate of a suicide is invariably one of deepest misery, his rash act holding him in the earth sphere until such time as his physical life would have had a natural ending. One suicide case which we contacted was the spirit of a woman, Mrs. X., who had been my Sunday school teacher when I was a boy in Europe, but of whom Mrs. Wickland [who acted as the medium] had never heard. This lady had been intelligent and spiritual, an earnest church member, happily married and the mother of several children. Without any warning, while apparently happy and contented, she had suddenly hung herself, and the horrified husband and children could in no way account for the tragedy.”
“One winter day ten years later, when Mrs. Wickland and I were alone in our home in Chicago, Mrs. Wickland was unexpectedly controlled by a spirit who gasped for breath and seemed to be strangling. This Spirit, like so many others, was unconscious of controlling a body not its own, and upon contacting matter, again experienced its last death struggle. After much questioning I learned, to my great surprise, that this was the spirit of my former friend, who had ended her physical life by hanging herself. She was still bound to the earth sphere and related the indescribable mental Hell she had been in during all those years.”
“As soon as I found myself out of my body, I saw at once the cause for my rash act. Evil spirits, who had been attracted to me by the jealous thoughts of other persons were standing near, grinning with devilish satisfaction at their work. “They had influenced me to end my life; I had no occasion to even think of such folly. An irresistible impulse had suddenly come over me. I fastened the rope around my neck, and only realized what I had done when it was too late.”
“I would have given the world to have been able to regain possession of my body. Oh, what horrors of despair and remorse I have gone through! My home shattered, my husband brokenhearted and discouraged, and my little ones needing my care! They do not know that I come to them and try to comfort them, and I have seen nothing but gloom and darkness until now.”
The place in the spiritual realm where the spirit of a suicide ends up probably depends as much on its overall spiritual evolution at the time of its act as it does on its motivations and the circumstances of the suicide. A person who committed suicide after living a life of crime and depredation would probably find his or her spirit in much darker circumstances than one who was driven to suicide for reasons entirely beyond his or her control.
Having said that, it is likely that a majority of discretionary suicides result from the culmination of a person’s bad decisions and narcissistic behavior. Therefore, most suicides probably suffer darker confinements, as a result of a combination of their rash act and their overall “negative spiritual buoyancy.”
In the scenario described above by Dr. Wickland, the spirit blamed her suicide on outside evil spirits “attracted to me by the jealous thoughts of other persons.” She may well have been an unknowing psychic sensitive who was susceptible to psychic attack, however I suspect that in addition she may have had a personality problem that made her more susceptible than other people. She may have been suffering some form of depression or mental illness prior to her spiritual infection. Perhaps it had something to do with an illicit affair or even an unwanted pregnancy. It will be her task to admit the truth to herself and to correct her defects in order to progress.
In any case, the spirits of discretionary suicides do NOT spend eternity in Hell, although they never get off easy. Remember that the earth is just a school where you are assigned lessons that must be learned before you can advance to the “next grade.” Your first day of school starts with your birth, and the day of your death is supposed to be the date you graduate. But if you drop out of school early, you don’t get your degree, and you have a price to pay. After a discretionary suicide, the spirit descends into a well of despair and self-pity. This is not a punishment imposed by the school principal. It’s a law of spiritual physics. When you throw a stone off a cliff, it falls to the bottom because of the laws of gravity. Same principle. The spiritual laws that govern willful suicides are just as immutable.